Negri athletics lose a gem in Anthonysamy


Truly a gem: You will be missed M.A.A. Anthonysamy.

SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan athletics fraternity has lost its colourful personality, namely M.A.A. Anthonysamy, who passed away peacefully at his home in Bukit Tembok, Seremban on Thursday (April 4).
Anthonysamy had not been in the pink of health, having had his left leg amputated due to diabetes two years ago and was frequently admitted to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital’s emergency ward for the past one year.
Born in Kuala Kangsar, the 82-year-old represented Perak, Kelantan and Negri Sembilan in long distance events at the Malaysian Open.
Anthonysamy, who married his wife Grace in 1969, was the father of two daughters Juliet and Dr Anita.
He served as a primary school teacher in Seremban and Port Dickson as well as retired in SK St Paul in 1996 at the age of 55.
During that time Anthonysamy also doubled up as the schools' athletics coach for the district and state meets.
As a young teacher, he had represented Perak in the Malaysian Open in the 5,000m and 10,000m from 1963 to 1965, Negri Sembilan from 1966 to 1970 and Kelantan in 1971.
Anthonysamy also had the opportunity of discovering and nurturing Nur Herman Majid as a school runner, who later became a six-time SEA Games 110m hurdles champion.
He picked up invaluable coaching skills from the former national coach Edwin Abraham in Seremban in 1972, sat for the examination and went with a team of coaches to coach athletes in Rantau, Port Dickson, Kuala Pilah, Tampin and Gemas during the weekends for two months.
In 1988, while teaching in SK Datuk Klana Maamor, he persuaded a 22-year-old temporary special education teacher R. Sathiyakumar to sit for his Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) Grade 3 examination.
In turn, Sathiyakumar, who was coaching disabled athletes as a Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) undergraduate in 1997, sought Anthonysamy’s help, which led Anthonysamy to coach disabled school athletes for twelve years, from 1997 to 2009 for the special education meets at Negri and national level.
To date he had officiated in 1000 over sports meets since 1968 and was still an active official on the track from schools to international level up to 2020.
Among the highest level meets officiated by Anthonysamy are the KL’98 16th Commonwealth Games, the 1977,1989, 2001 and 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur as well as the 1991 Asian Championships in Kuala Lumpur.
The funeral service was held at the Gospel Hall Chapel on Lemon Hill in Seremban and then followed by the burial at the Sikamat Christian Cemetery on Sunday. - contributed by R. SATHIYAKUMAR
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